Pfizer Slashes Research, Staff after Wyeth Deal

R&D will be conducted at five main sites and nine specialized units around the world, compared with 20 R&D sites.

Pfizer announced on Nov. 9 cuts in its research activities and staff after acquiring pharmaceutical rival Wyeth. Research and development activities will now be conducted at five main sites and nine specialized units around the world, compared with 20 R&D sites on completion of the Wyeth deal in mid-October, the company said.

The company will move a number of functions from three U.S. centers to other locations and will discontinue R&D operations in six local centers as well. R&D operations at Gosport, Slough/Taplow in Britain will also be discontinued. "As a result of these changes, Pfizer will reduce its global R&D square footage by 35%," the statement said.

Pfizer will now have five main research sites that will serve as central hubs for research activities in BioTherapeutics, PharmaTherapeutics and Vaccines, the company said. These sites are in Cambridge, Mass.; Groton, Conn.; Pearl River, N.Y.; La Jolla, Calif.; and Sandwich, Britain.

These research-oriented laboratories will be supplemented by specialized research capabilities, such as monoclonal antibody discovery in San Francisco, regenerative medicine work in Cambridge, Britain, and research and development activities in Shanghai, China, the statement said.

"While these changes are expected to bolster productivity and reduce costs, they will result in staff reductions," the company said. No specific numbers were given in terms of staff cuts.

Pfizer's acquisition of Wyeth in a $68 billion deal boosted its position as the world's biggest drugmaker as it prepares for the expiration of patents on its blockbuster drugs and as some of its key drugs face competition from generic manufacturers.

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2009

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